The Four Bs Buzz on U.S. Postal Stamp: Bats, Bees, Birds and Butterflies

June 28th, 2007

The United States Postal Service will cast a spotlight on the importance of nature's pollinators with the issuance of the 41-cent Pollination stamps tomorrow, June 29. The first- day-of-issuance ceremony will be led by Patrick R. Donahoe, deputy postmaster general and chief operating officer of the Postal Service, who will be joined by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns beginning at 10 a.m. at the United States Department of Agriculture, Whitten Building patio.

The Pollination stamps are being issued in conjunction with National Pollinator Week. Depicted on the Pollination stamps are four wildflowers and four pollinators.

The common and scientific names of the featured flowers are purple nightshade, also known as chaparral nightshade (Solanum xanti); hummingbird trumpet (Epilobium canum); saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and prairie ironweed, also known as common ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata). The common and scientific names of the featured animal pollinators are Morrison's bumblebee (Bombus morrisoni); calliope hummingbird (Stellula calliope); lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) and Southern dogface butterfly (Colias cesonia).

Artist Steve Buchanan of Winsted, Conn. created the four beautiful stamps using an intricate design that emphasizes the ecological relationship between pollinators and plants and the biodiversity necessary to maintain that relationship. The four different stamp designs are arranged in two alternate blocks that fit together like interlocking puzzles. In one block the pollinators form a central starburst; in the other block the flowers are arranged in the center.